Create a stress-free and safe holiday season for your family pets by following these 6 tips.
1. Decoration Safety
Christmas trees and other decorations present multiple hazards for dogs and cats. Follow these suggestions to protect your pets from injury:
Anchor the tree to the wall with rope or wire to prevent it from being knocked over. You can also consider blocking off access to the tree with baby gates.
Do not allow pets to drink the water from live trees. This water can have chemicals and bacteria present that can make your dog or cat sick.
Keep ornaments out of the reach of pets by not placing any at the bottom of the tree. Avoid glass ornaments that pets could eat pieces of if they fall from the tree.
Keep all other decorations out of the reach of your pets. Many decorations can lead to GI obstruction if consumed, so be certain that they are placed in an area that is inaccessible to all pets in the house.
Decorative plants such as poinsettia, mistletoe, and holly can be toxic if consumed by a dog or cat. All plants should be kept out of the reach of pets at all times to avoid exposure.
Candles can be knocked over by pets, presenting a fire hazard. Candles should be kept high enough where pets cannot reach, or consider using electric candles instead.
2. Safe Holiday Treats
Your pets will want to enjoy seasonal treats as much as you do. Be careful to prevent sickness in your pets by following these tips:
No chocolate. There is a lot of chocolate and candy around the holiday season. Since this is toxic to dogs, be sure that you don’t leave any laying around where they can get to it.
Caution with table scraps. Foods high in fat can cause pancreatitis. This can be a serious problem that may require your pets to be hospitalized. Keep treats that are safe for your pets handy to avoid giving them food from the table.
Veggies only. If you do want to give people food to your pet, give safe foods only such as carrots, plain green beans or sweet potatoes.
Tell the guests. Let your guests know what is safe to feed your pets when they are visiting your home.
Take out the trash. Be sure not to leave trash cans full with holiday food scraps after your guests leave to prevent pets from getting into it and causing GI upset.
3. Stress-free Guest Visits
While we may greatly enjoy the excitement of visitors during the holidays, our pets can be very stressed by all of the new voices, noises, and smells. Plan ahead to help them feel more at ease when this season arrives by following these recommendations:
For pets that are fearful of increased noise, it is best to keep them in a back room or a crate in a quiet area.
Consider boarding your pet at a boarding facility during the busiest days if they are very fearful of people and new sounds in their home environment.
Some pets may benefit greatly from anti-anxiety medications during times of increased stress. Speak with an online vet about whether or not your pet should be prescribed one of these medications this holiday season.
If your dog or cat is fearful of other animals, explain to your guests that they should leave their own pets at home when they visit you.
Pets that tend to bite or scratch when scared should be kept away from the guests at all times. Let your guests know that your pet is too fearful to be petted and should be left alone.
4. Watch the Doors
Keep your pets safe during the holiday hustle and bustle by protecting them from getting loose outdoors.
Make sure your guests know to keep the doors to the outside closed at all times to prevent a pet from slipping out.
If your pet is notoriously good at sneaking out the doors, it would be best if they are kept crated or at a boarding facility.
Keep your pet’s microchip and collar tags up to date in case they do get outside accidentally.
5. Travel Safety With Pets
If you are traveling with your pet this holiday season, check these tips for the safest, most enjoyable trip.
Car restraint. Purchase a car seat or harness to attach to the seat belt to keep your pet safe in the case of an accident and to prevent distracted driving. Some pets are kept in a travel kennel in the car to keep them from moving around the vehicle as well.
Medications. Some pets, especially cats, will require sedation for long car rides or plane flights. Others will need anti-nausea or motion sickness medications to prevent vomiting in the car. Although, in many jurisdictions, TelePAWS cannot prescribe medication, speak with an online vet to see if your pet would benefit from one of these medications before your next trip.
Take breaks often. Make potty breaks often so your pet can stretch and relieve themselves. Offer small amounts of water and food periodically as well, especially if it is a very long drive.
6. Have a Plan If Your Pet Gets Sick
Even when precaution is taken, our pets will get sick from time to time. Be prepared for illness and injury by setting up a subscription with an online vet at TelePAWS.com. The veterinarians at TelePAWS will be able to give you the best advice and care for your pets this holiday season.
Talk to an Online Vet Today! For only $50 you can book an appointment with a vet and get help for your pet today.